By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Colonels (10-3) return home for the first time in more than a month today when they take on Eastern Illinois (3-11) at 7 p.m.
The game will be the conference opener for the Colonels.
Eastern Illinois won both meetings with the Colonels last season and EKU will be looking to break a four-game losing streak to the Panthers.
EKU is coming off a close loss to West Virginia on Sunday in which it stormed back from a 16-point deficit to take a lead with 4:21 left in the game before the Mountaineers retook the lead at the end.
The Panthers enter the game on a seven-game losing streak and are 0-1 in OVC play after falling 67-59 to Tennessee State Dec. 29.
In that game, Eastern Illinois shot 62 percent in the second half and almost erased a 19-point first-half deficit before the Tigers hung on for the victory.
Eastern Illinois is averaging 56.3 points per game, while giving up an average of 63.5 points per game.
The Panthers are shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 34.2 from behind the three-point line, while allowing their opponents to shoot 47.7 percent from the field and 37.7 from behind the arc.
EKU is averaging 77.2 points per game, while allowing their opponents 64.1 points per game.
The Colonels are shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from three-point range, while allowing their opponents to 44.5 percent from the field and 27.7 from behind the line.
The Panthers are led by sophomore Josh Piper, the team’s leading scorer at 10.6 points and second-leading rebounder with 4.5 per game.
Freshman Alex Austin is averaging 9.5 points per game and was named the OVC Freshman of the Week last week, the third time this season he has earned the honor.
Glenn Cosey continues to lead the Colonels in scoring at 16.5 points per game and earned his fourth OVC Newcomer of the Week award after his 21-point performance against West Virginia.
Cosey is seventh in the OVC in scoring, third in assist-to-turnover ratio, seventh in three-point shooting and 12th in assists.
Senior Mike DiNunno is second on the team averaging 14 points per game and is shooting 43 percent from behind the three-point line.
Junior Orlando Williams will make his home debut today against Eastern Illinois. The transfer from Miami (Ohio) played in his first game against West Virginia, scoring 10 points.
The Colonels are 18th in the nation in three-point shooting percentage defense at 27.7 percent, and held the Mountaineers to 17 percent from behind the arc. EKU has now held nine of its 13 opponents to less than 30 percent from behind the arc.
Today’s game can be heard on WCYO 100.7 FM and on EKUSports.com. A live video broadcast of the contest is available on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.